Network Report


Current Issues in Public Health Law

Exploring the Model Aquatic Health Code

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released the first edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), a guidance document to help health departments make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer. The MAHC can be used to create or update existing pool codes to reduce risk for drowning, pool-chemical injuries, and outbreaks of waterborne disease. The MAHC is not a federal law but can become law if adopted by a state or locality.

Read more on the Model Aquatic Health Code.

New Resource: National School Lunch Program Standards

The school lunch standards represent the minimal nutritional value of meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) which provides low-cost or free lunches to children at school. In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act required the USDA to update the school lunch standards to reflect current dietary science. The updated nutrition standards have faced several implementation barriers. Our new resource provides an update on the implementation progress of the standards and what to expect in 2015.

View the resource.

Ask the Experts

Health Information Data Sharing: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Network was recently contacted by an advisor for a state department of health for assistance in her work on asthma with a school district within her state. She asked whether the school district can specifically request that parents provide details regarding their child’s absence for illness under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and if so, what logistics would be implied in legally collecting and protecting that information.

Read Network’s response.

Upcoming Webinar: Civil Commitment Laws and Population Health

The role that civil commitment and involuntary hospitalization have played in providing mental health care has changed markedly since the middle of the 20th century. All 50 states and the District of Columbia now regulate civil commitment laws that govern how and when an individual may be committed to a psychiatric facility without their consent. This webinar taking place on January 22 explores civil commitment law through a public health lens.

Learn more and register.

Law and Policy Research: A Focus on Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Child Health: Concepts and Measures for Future Research

A recently published literature review examining the effects of family economic security policies on child and family health outcomes concludes that state policy variations offer a valuable opportunity for scientists to conduct natural experiments and contribute to evidence linking social policy effects to family and child wellbeing. The review also introduces a policy surveillance system to measure changes in state laws affecting social determinants of health.

Read Social Determinants of Child Health: Concepts and Measures for Future Research.

Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status in Research on Child Health

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a policy statement recommending increased research on eliminating health and health care disparities related to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. According to the statement, it is “not sufficient to use these variables alone as explanatory for differences in disease, morbidity, and outcomes without attention to the social and biologic influences they have on health throughout the life course.”

View the AAP policy statement.

Public Health Law Career Tool

The field of public health law is rapidly expanding, but knowing where to look for public health law jobs can be challenge for many students and young professionals. The Student Network’s new interactive tool provides an introduction to the career paths available to public health law professionals, including an overview of organizations that work on public health law issues.

View the Public Health Law Career Tool.

Join the Network.